Festival Catur Putrajaya 2018 – another record breaking event!

Like I mentioned in last year’s post, I was honored to be recognised as someone from the media worth inviting to a chess event so I am here at the second edition of the Festival Catur Putrajaya. Also¬† not that altruistic as I was there to collect my last year’s T-shirt which was promised but still haven’t received ūüôĀ

As in last year, this is a grand event attracting the biggest ever number of participants for a one day event in Malaysia.

This year it’s¬†1935 participant !! At least that’s according to¬† chess-results.com. Obviously, there¬†are absentees but even¬†then¬†the final numbers is¬†still huge (not many absentees considering you have to pay up to be registered!).

First thing I noticed arriving at the venue was large number of kids  getting off the busses. Are these kids also playing in the chess event? I found out later they were !

Still it was not the total number of participants the organisers were aiming for but¬† they were more interested in the total number of children. This left out the OPEN and Under 18 sections which is a significant number. However even then the total number all¬†under 15¬†players was 1539 which broke last year’s 1224 total.

Another record set!

Despite the potential for things going wrong, the organisers deserve a pat on the back for a well run chess tournament.

One would expect a logistics nightmare with 1900+ players which does not include the parents, teaches and coaches!

Amazingly, the event went on without any problem (that I noticed) which to me personally is an impressive feat.

Also, anyone would expect the problem of crowdedness but thanks to the spacious Menara Seri Wilayah, which not only housed the huge number of people but had enough parking spaces available. To be honest, I did park 5 minutes¬†walk¬†from the venue as I didn’t want to get into any possible jam leaving the place. I later saw I was mistaken as this was not a problem too.

The success of the tournament was helped by experienced and capable people. One of them include Chief Arbiter Najib Wahab.

Also to add to the prestige of the event, top boards for the Open section was broadcasted live on websites as well as on Facebook thanks to the efforts of Norazwan “Shin Azwan” of AI Chess fame.

Even food was catered for as about one dozen food trucks can be found  right outside the playing venue.


end of Part 1.

More to post later..¬†have to sift through more¬†pictures and videos for the second part ūüôā







For Those With No FIDE IDs, must submit Entry by 01 Jan with copy of ICs

Download the entry form(DOCX) 

Date 14 January 2018 (Sunday)
Format & Time Control 7 Round Swiss (Swiss Manager) ‚Äď 25 Mins to finish
Event Manager: DAT Chess Centre (DATCC) / Endorsed By Kuala Lumpur Chess Association (KLCA)
Venue Dewan Serbaguna Pusat Perdagangan PT 80 DBKL, Lorong Bunus 4,

Masjid India, 50050 KUALA LUMPUR (Belakang Haniffa Departmental Store)


Contact Person Abd Hamid Majid (019 3158098) / Siraj (010 5499916) / IM Jimmy Liew (019 6571628)
Official Website http://www.datchesscenter.net/
  FIDE chess rules and regulations apply. The Organizers reserve the right to reject entries. The games will be played according to the schedule below.
Certificate of Participation for all players and Certificate of Achievement for Prize Winners.
All Prize Winners will get Medals. Champions in All 3 sections will get the Datuk Seri Syed Ibrahim Kader Trophy
Champion 2000 750 300
2nd 1000 500 200
3rd 750 250 100
4th ‚Äď 5th 300 100 50
6th ‚Äď 10th 100 50 Medals
11th ‚Äď 15th Medals Medals Medals


14 January 2018 (Sunday) 8:00 ‚Äď 9:00am Registration + Players Meeting
09:15 ‚Äď 13:15 Round 1 ‚Äď 4
13:15 ‚Äď 14:15 Lunch
14:15 ‚Äď 17:15 Rounds 5 ‚Äď 7


OPEN – RM 50 UNDER-18 – RM 40 UNDER-12 – RM 30


TIE-BREAK (1) PE (Where applicable) (2) No of Wins (3) Solkoff (4) SB (5) Cumulative

aham@pc.jaring.asia, datcc@outlook.com, ahamchess @yahoo.com

An acknowledgement of the received payment will be sent. Kindly remind us if you have not received within 7 days of the notification. If you have any queries, kindly contact our event manager




YB Senator Datuk Seri Syed Ibrahim Kader Trophy





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Date of Birth d d m m y y y y


CATEGORY (Please Tick)


Mobile No                    


Email Address                                  






FIDE ID (see https://ratings.fide.com/:                 FIDE RTG:        


Entry Fee ¬†¬†¬†¬† (OPEN) ¬† ¬† ‚Äď RM 50 (UNDER ‚Äď 18) ‚Äď RM 40¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† (UNDER ‚Äď 12) ‚ÄďRM 30¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†


We hereby, agree to participate in this chess event and abide by its rules and regulations. We will support and respect the final decision made by the Chief Arbiter.


SIGNATURE :                                                                                                                                        DATE:                                                                           




83 FIDE titled trainers in Malaysia


This is the latest as of 1 Dec 2017 taken from FIDE website.

The titles given by FIDE to qualified trainers are :-

  • FIDE Senior Trainer (FST)
  • FIDE Trainer (FT)
  • FIDE Instructor (FI)
  • National Instructor (NI)
  • Developmental Instructor (DI)

It is indeed a big number. So will we be seeing a jump numbers for new young talents being trained by 88 trainers?

The onus is now on these FIDE titled trainers to show their mettle. Only time will tell ūüôā

IDcode Name T Oth. T. Rtg Rpd Blz B-Year S
1  5700230  A B, Muhammad Yusop  FI 1579  1675  1528 M
2  5716365  A Hamid, Harman  NI  1593 M
3  5727642  A. Yusuf, Sophian  FA,FI 1974 M
4  5716381  Abd Rahman, Mohd Idris  DI  1568 M
5  5700086  Abdullah, Mohd Kamal  CM  FI 2086  2138  2001 M
6  5707935  Abdullah, Ronie  NI M
7  5727731  Ahmad Rostam, Ahmad Izzuddin  FI 1987 M
8  5702534  Andin, Faizal  FI 1987  2151  2046 1985 M
9  5725739  Anoop Singh, Manresh Singh  NI 1374 1998 M
10  5734401  Arumugam, Muthamil Chelvan  DI 1967 M
11  5700353  Azman Hisham, Mohd Nabil  NI 1988  2032  1983 1994 M
12  5702135  Azman Hisham, Nur Nabila  WFM  NI 1986  1910  2017 1997 F
13  5727723  Berto, Mussimar  NI 1977 M
14  5718325  Calleja, Reymondo  NI  1430 1966 M
15  5701112  Chan, Marcus  FT 2129 1984 M
16  5707960  Chi, Yin Phin  FI 1674  1693  1692 1980 M
17  5700876  Chuah, Jin Hai Jonathan  FA,FT 2198  2223  2250 1986 M
18  5742854  Elias, Mohd Shahiid  NI 1979 M
19  5701775  Erowan, Masrin  FI 1993  2083  2012 1980 M
20  5742870  Etong, Abdullah  NI  1715 1967 M
21  5701031  Fong, Choong Ee  FI 1795  1826  1856 1961 M
22  5734410  Gerijan, Dinesh  NI 1981 M
23  5740100  Goh, Jit Siang  NI 1978 M
24  5718961  Harun, Zazaluma  NI 1968 F
25  5731410  Hoy, Weng Keung  NI 1975 M
26  5741963  Ibrahim, Maulana  NI 1986 M
27  5707870  Ismail, Mohamed  NI 1617  1636 1972 M
28  5730554  Ismail, Muhd Firdaus  FI 1982 M
29  5717310  Jaunic, Onnin Osthen  NI 1976 M
30  5742820  Joeanne Lee  NI 1980 F
31  5723671  Johari, Justafahary  NI 1995 M
32  5727766  Julkarain, Abdul Aziz  NI 1978 M
33  5718953  Julkarnain, Muammar  FI 1974 M
34  5701139  Kamal, Rizal Ahmad  FI 1860 1973 M
35  5713790  Kamarudin, Akmal Adam  NI 1487  1607  1609 1984 M
36  849138  Kimbin, Richard Conrod  FI 1803  1882  1852 1975 M
37  5706653  Lee, Boon Why  FI 1862  1812 1982 M
38  5708044  Leong, Evelyn  FI F
39  5700019  Liew, Chee-Meng Jimmy  IM  FA,FT 2202  2210  2245 1958 M
40  5701945  Loo, Swee Leong  FI 2049  2103 1983 M
41  5704367  Lucas, Charles  FT 1833  1860  1851 1984 M
42  5713358  Maamur, Abdul Salam  FI M
43  5700116  Madhavan, Collin  CM  IA,FT 2220 1959 M
44  5704766  Madhavan, Olivia  FA,FI 1741 1994 F
45  5702380  Mahmood, Nasrul Humaimi  FI 1904  1896 1977 M
46  5702739  Mahruf, Anizan  NI,FI 1864  1666  1843 M
47  5716594  Malim, Melvin Sham  NI 1697  1754  1652 M
48  5734428  Mansor, Mohd Fadzly  NI 1980 M
49  5718333  Mohd Ismail, Gazalee  NI 1898  1943  1762 1980 M
50  5731771  Mohd Nasir, Mohd Khairi  NI 1463 1984 M
51  5727685  Mohd Wazir, Zuraihah  NI 1965 F
52  5700329  Mok, Tze-Meng  IM  IA,FT 2349  2366  2364 1968 M
53  5707579  Muniyan, Genkeswaran  FA,NI 1496 1978 M
54  5713811  Nadzrif, Ali Akbar  DI 1781  1822  1775 1991 M
55  5704260  Narayanasamy, N. Annadurai  NI 1315 M
56  5700795  Ng, Tze Han  FT 2184  2269  2294 1981 M
57  5701791  Nik, Nik Ahmad Farouqi  FI 2081  2078  2054 1982 M
58  5701341  Omar, Asrul Sharaff  FT 1865  1945 1971 M
59  5742838  Petrus Gamu, Julius  FI 1966 M
60  5708974  Ponniah, Lohanathan  NI 1534 1951 M
61  5702968  Rosli, Ahmad Afiq Afyfy  FI 1927  1917 1992 M
62  5702658  Ruslan, Haslindah  FI 1530  1594 1970 F
63  5700990  Sahari, Abang Mohd Reduan  FI 2031  2015 1976 M
64  5701864  Salim, Abdullah  NI 1430 M
65  5731828  See, Swee Sie  NI 1965 F
66  5713820  Soupin, Hosdi  NI 1647  1660  1649 1962 M
67  5702720  Subramaniam, Sumant  FM  FT 2172  2085  2137 1993 M
68  5738024  Taip, Zulhimat  NI 1972 M
69  5704820  Tan, Li Ting  WFM  FI 2089  1840  1913 1998 F
70  5727456  Teh, In Hooi  NI 1974 F
71  5707277  Teh, Wee Zhun  FI 1697  1830  1720 1993 M
72  5742846  Teoh Lake Khee  DI 1968 F
73  5701279  Tham, Tick Hong Jax  FI 1978  2000  1959 1960 M
74  5734398  Thevaraj, Rajasegaran  DI 1958 M
75  5727588  Thiagarajoo, Kumaressan  NI 1161 1979 M
76  5716780  Wangkee, Sufree  NI 1597 M
77  5705177  Wising, Abdul Sahim  FI 1921  2061  1922 1978 M
78  5706963  Wong, Lai Meng  NI M
79  5709865  Yap, Bob  FA,NI 1298 1965 M
80  5709679  Yeap, Joo Hock  FI 1963 M
81  5721610  Yee, Jeun Fui  FI 1846 1982 M
82  5701481  Yeoh, Phee Leong Marcus  FI 1987  1993 1981 M
83  5702593  Zulkifli, Zulfikar  NI 1790  1813  1669 M

Share #mychessfestival

Blogs are dead. Most local blogs except mine of course (ok thinly veiled attempt to rustle some blogs to activity again).

So my call to arms is for everyone to hashtag whatever they share on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Blogs, Youtube etc) with #mychessfestival whenever you post or share something about the coming Malaysian Chess Festival 2017.

This way we can have a large pool of user contributed media to enjoy later.

Institute for Chess Excellence,Puchong first tourney

The tournament in Chess Institute for Excellence starts with Category 4 & 5 on July 9.
Limited to 80 participants
FIDE 1200-1500 and below : Category 4 
FIDE 1200 and below : Category 5 
(without FIDE ratings will be considered to be Category 5).
Entry fee : RM 20 
5 rounds minimum.
Prizes and Certs
60 percent scores and above in three Category 5 tournaments will qualify a player as Category 4.
70 percent cores and above in two Category 4 tournaments will qualify a player as Category 3.
Certificates will be awarded to all winners.
70 percent of collection will be returned as prizes distributed equitably with one prize given per 10 players, and 30 percent will be retained to subsidise expenses including the cost of venue, the arbiters, etc.
Time Control : 15 minutes
Schedule (9 July 2017):
8:00 – 9:00 Registration Confirmation
10:00 – 10:30 Round 1
10:45 – 11:15 Round 2
11:30 – 12:00 Round 3
12:15 – 12:45 Round 4
13:30 – 14:00 Round 5
14:15 – 14:45 Round 6
15:00 – 15:30 Round 7
16:00 Awards Ceremony
Please refer to Catur Malaysia for details and registration.

Learning thru Osmosis

According to an online dictionary, osmosis means

  1. a process by which molecules of a solvent tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane.
  2. the process of gradual or unconscious assimilation of ideas, knowledge, etc.

I am referring to the second definition. You can learn something thru immersion and exposure.

Today, I visited ICE master class session by IM Alex Wohl.It just resonated with me when Peter Long was explaining to some parents how chess players being in a group together can challenge each other to attain greater heights.

This was surprising to me because I’ve always thought of chess ¬†as solitary effort with a coach (or two or three) and parent(s) as support.

Learning thru osmosis is something I have long believed worked in other non-chess areas like programming. The invaluable things I’ve learnt being up close to talented programmers¬†taught me things I never would have learnt in a class or any training session. And it doesn’t¬†mean that there is direct teaching taking place either.

I remember once a programmer friend called me over and showed me how he was making the cursor spin. Mind you this was the era of DOS and changing the normal operating system blinking cursor to a spinning one was unheard of. It showed me what was possible. My friend never showed me how he did it but I made an effort to learn it myself. My limited perception of the impossible was changed forever.

Another ¬†proof of¬†“learning thru osmosis” I see is in Starcraft. Starcraft brings in serious money from sponsors and part of that money besides coaches, food, uniforms, etc also pay for ¬† “team houses”. The close proximity of like minded people results in effective exchange of ideas, strategies and friendly competitive atmosphere¬†makes everyone¬†push each others skills to the next level. Everyone benefits and it doesn’t matter if you are the weaker or the stronger of the players.

Players believe in this. So do sponsors. Otherwise there’d be no money channeled in to this.

Can chess come anywhere near the level as this? The commitment is great. They have moved out from their homes  to stay with other players long term to train, to learn and to ultimately benefit from each other.

Chess players meeting once in a while to compare notes, periodic sparring session and brief centralised training  can never compare with this.

Will chess ever have serious investment like time and money into actual places to house professional players in one place like Starcraft?

The answer is most likely never. However if chess goes in this direction but adopts similiar albeit less serious set ups like team houses, there can still be benefits reaped from learning thru osmosis.

A visit to the Institute of Chess Excellence (ICE), Puchong

This preview talk by the all new chess centre was on the 10th of June, 2017.

For those going there, look for this building as the landmark. Corner building, Restoran Stone Steam Pot. (The abbreviation ICE (or TICE) is mine because I hate to type out long names ūüôā )

A word of advice, if you are going on a weekend, don’t be picky about the parking spot. I took the first vacant spot I saw¬†because from experience, I don’t want to circle the place endlessly looking for the nearest place to park. It gets pretty crowded on weekends.

The one I picked was a little further but since this is a relatively small business area, it was only 2 minutes walk.

It’s free parking on weekends.


Incidentally the place is a Pokemon Go stop ūüôā

For those going by public transport, there is the LRT. Just stop at¬†Taman Perindustrian Puchong LRT station¬†(which incidentally holds the distinction for the longest name among¬†the LRT stops). After crossing the overhead bridge, the chess centre is only 4 minutes normal walking speed. 2 minutes if you run¬†! ūüôā


“Stonemaster” Fadli is also here and listening intently!

All chess sets here are wooden pieces which is really nice.


The prime person and Director at ICE here is FM/FT Peter Long.  

I like that Maxis internet is super fast here. But that also means my quota will finish super fast too if I’m not careful.

Pictures of famous chess personalities with frame.

 The preview clashed with other events but still the attendance is more than respectable.

I didn’t take notes and many things were discussed and presented about training juniors but one thing that stuck with me is Peter’s explanation about the mundane. It is the mundane and boring process that improves chess the most and there are no short / fast quick fixes. It is the boring, repetitive processes like doing tactical exercises, reading up, keeping up with opening nuances etc. ¬†This is where coaches can help my formulating training plans and directing students to what is more important so as to maximise the limited time and resources.

Also the focus is on junior training (U-9,U,11, U13, U19) so if you are some big and old buffalo over 19 like me, you can forget it. But there are still the regular rated (IM tournaments!!) , unrated tournament at the centre to look forward too.

The new chess centre is already becoming very active with training sessions and tournaments. Tentative schedule is:

Please check for the latest schedule at ICE website and Facebook page as there may be changes.

Again, I really like that ALL the chess pieces here are wooden ūüôā

Stonemaster Fadli and Mr Michael Yeap chatting while waiting for the registration for the ad-hoc blitz event.



Blitz registration!

The start of blitz!

Winner of blitz: Lye Lik Zang

No need to go into details but I remember over a decade ago Peter Long’s similiarly suggested program cooperating with ¬†MCF for training sadly died a premature death because of some problems and resistance. Glad that it finally has a chance now.

My conclusion from the preview:

Not to take anything away from hard working local coaches as there are many doing their bit training the kids but what ICE is doing is by far  the most ambitious, comprehensive and focused junior training program I have seen. Also, from the preview it was stressed there is no competition with local coaches as what ICE is doing is different. Exciting times!!

Related links:

National Junior Development Training Program Preview

Keep this coming Saturday (June 10, 2017) free for National Junior Development Training Program Preview.
There were a ton of interesting chess events taking place just before Ramadhan but I skipped all of them as they all appear pretty typical. This one however gets my attention.
 The venue:
69 Jalan Puteri 2/3 Puchong New Village, Selangor, Malaysia.
The place is called  The Institute for Chess Excellence (TICE?).
What’s it about this preview thingy? I am not sure but I will definitely try to attend (if I can be awake in time) to find out and blog about it. ¬†I am sure many other chess players/trainers/students etc will be going too.
In their about page :
It says:
“The Institute for Chess Excellence seeks to develop and provide best of its kind education and training programs for chess excellence and to grow, support, and enable local chess communities in Malaysia and the region.”
Sounds interesting and promising.
In their Facebook page they mention they will be officially opened on the 29th June (after Ramadhan fasting period).
Also, to find out more, check out their new website at http://instituteforchessexcellence.org/
New, but they already have affiliations with MCF which names the Institute of Chess Excellence as it’s National Chess Academy.
Also after the preview (between 4-8pm) there will be blitz chess and Buka Puasa food.

The Springboard Years

Yeoh Li Tian fantastic performance strengthens my belief that 16 to 20 are the “spring board years” for teenagers to achieve some impressive feats. Not detracting or taking anything away from Li Tian’s talent or hard work, it’s just something I have observed from experience.

Li Tian is 18 years old.

Mental aquity peaks at age 25.

Some stats in ELO rating over age seems to back this up.

Graph from http://blog.lionchess.co.uk/

So the bad news is it’s downhill after the age of 30. Sure there are exceptions like people maintaining their chess strengths like Korchnoi and players attaining GM titles at age 55 but those are the really rare exceptions. For many, (myself included) they just fall into the main stats.

As for me, personally, I remember writing the snake game program (from the old Nokia phone) in Pascal in one day- a programming language¬†I just learnt during that “springboard” years. Looking back I don’t think I can do the same today.

So kids, if you are in the lucky age range. Make full use of this time to choose what you want to excel in ! ¬†Especially don’t waste your time writing the Snake program ūüôā

Yeoh Li Tian on fire!

That’s the first image that came to mind looking at Li Tian’s incredible performance at the on going¬†2017 Zone 3.3 Championship (Open).

No need to rehash what other’s been posting in Facebook and other blogs but in case you were left out, this is a strong tourney consisting of¬†9 Grandmasters and 10 International Masters. As of the time of writing, Li Tian is still the leader of the tournament after 7 rounds and is unbeaten. Strong players¬†scalped by Li Tian include GM Antonio Rogelio, IM Oliver Dimakiling and Liu Xiang Yi.


 picture courtesy of Gilbert Haridas
picture courtesy of Gilbert Haridas


Picture from chess-results.com


Also there is talk of Li Tian getting a GM norm for his fantastic performance here with two more rounds to go. We will wait for comfirmation..


Standings after 7 rounds:-

Rk. Name Rtg Pts.
1 FM YEOH Li Tian 2449 6
2 GM NGUYEN Ngoc Truong Son 2629 5.5
3 IM DIMAKILING Oliver 2405 4.5
4 FM ANDYKA Pitra 2390 4.5
5 FM LIU Xiangyi 2443 4.5
6 GM MEGARANTO Susanto 2527 4.5
7 IM NGUYEN Van Huy 2413 4.5
8 GM BARCENILLA Rogelio 2455 4.5
9 IM PASCUA Haridas 2440 4.5
10 SEVILLANO Rhenzi Kyle 2037 4
11 GM NGUYEN Huynh Minh Huy 2433 4
12 FM NGUYEN Anh Khoi 2459 4
13 IM TIN Jingyao 2436 3.5
14 IM BERSAMINA Paulo 2409 3.5
15 FM SETYAKI Azarya Jodi 2336 3.5
16 CM PANGILINAN Stephen Rome 1982 3.5
17 GM ANTONIO Rogelio Jr 2465 3.5
18 GM GOMEZ John Paul 2481 3.5
19 FM PRIASMORO Novendra 2379 3.5
20 GM DAO Thien Hai 2478 3.5
21 GM LAYLO Darwin 2445 3.5
22 IM GOH Wei Ming Kevin 2457 3.5
23 GM SADORRA Julio Catalino 2596 3.5
24 IM GARMA Chito 2336 3.5
25 IM NOLTE Rolando 2394 3
26 FM PACIS Adrian 2124 3
27 FM ABELGAS Roel 2318 3
28 IM NGUYEN Van Hai 2353 3
29 IM GARCIA Jan Emmanuel 2444 3
30 CM LEE Jun Wei 2137 3
31 JACUTINA John Merill 2041 2.5
32 MICIANO John Marvin 2273 2.5
33 FM NOURI Alekhine 1954 2.5
34 SOL CRUZ Raul 0 1.5
35 CRUZ Orlando 0 1
36 ENDRINA Julius 1645 1

Check out his progress at chess-resuts.com



Related link:

Bulletin Catur Malaysia report on Li Tian